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UG to celebrate opening of the academic year on 1 September with Imagination as central theme

25 August 2023
Illustration for Opening Academic Year 2023/2024

The University of Groningen (UG) will celebrate the opening of the academic year on Friday 1 September from 3.30 to 5 p.m. at the Martinikerk in Groningen. The event will be dedicated to the theme of Imagination and will consist of speeches, debates, and performances. In addition, Jacquelien Scherpen will officially be installed as the new Rector Magnificus . Jacquelien Scherpen will succeed current Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga.


Imagination was chosen as the central theme for several reasons. The power of imagination is priceless in teaching and research. It is the driving force behind discovery, learning, and the search for solutions. Imagination encourages students to be curious, to ask questions, and to actively participate in the learning process. In research, imagination is the spark that leads to new discoveries and breakthroughs. It enables researchers to gain crucial knowledge and push boundaries.


The programme includes an academic speech by polymer scientist Marleen Kamperman, a debate with Marcel Levi (Chair of the Dutch Research Council (NWO)), Vinod Subramaniam (Chair of the Board of the University of Twente), and Cisca Wijmenga, as well as the award ceremony for Alumnus of the Year Takudzwa Mutezo. Wijmenga will open the event and, later in the day, say goodbye as Rector Magnificus. Jacquelien Scherpen will be installed as the new Rector Magnificus and will give an acceptance speech.

There will be musical intermezzi provided by student music association Bragi. In addition, the new UG poet-in-residence will recite a poem.


As is tradition, the opening of the academic year shall be preceded by the procession— a group of UG professors and representatives of study and student associations will walk from the Academy Building to the Martinikerk, starting at 3 p.m.

More information

The opening of the academic year is meant for UG professors, other staff members, UG relations, and students. They can register before 26 August. Other interested parties can follow the event via a live stream on the following page: The page also includes the full programme

Last modified:25 August 2023 11.51 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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